Understanding Sjögren’s Syndrome

If your eyes always feel gritty and itchy, like you’ve got sand in them, or if you struggle with a cotton-mouth sensation that makes it difficult to swallow, you could have Sjogren's syndrome. This immune system disorder often occurs in patients with other autoimmune conditions, including lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

The expert care team at Pleasanton Arthritis and Osteoporosis Medical Center, led by Iraj Sabahi, MD can diagnose your Sjogren's syndrome, and help you develop a treatment plan to effectively address your symptoms.

The effects of Sjogren's syndrome

If you have Sjogren's syndrome, your immune system responds atypically to your own cells and tissues, attacking them as if they were invading germs. Sjogren's syndrome primarily affects your mucus membranes and the glands that produce moisture in your eyes and mouth. As a result, your levels of naturally-produced tears and saliva decrease, leaving your eyes and mouth feeling uncomfortably dry.

When your eyes and mouth aren’t properly moisturized, you can develop related complications, as well. People with Sjogren's syndrome are more prone to developing yeast infections, and women with Sjogren's syndrome may struggle with vaginal dryness.

Patients who have Sjogren's syndrome may also suffer from symptoms including joint pain, stiffness, and swelling, as well as skin rashes, swollen salivary glands, and dry coughing. Eventually, the condition can impact your thyroid, kidneys, liver, lungs, and nerves. Immune system disorders like Sjogren's syndrome can leave you feeling persistently fatigued.

Who is at risk?

We’re still learning more about the causes of autoimmune disorders. There may be a genetic component to who is at risk for Sjogren's syndrome, but the condition also needs to be triggered by an event like an infection.

You’re most likely to develop Sjogren's syndrome in adulthood, typically after the age of 40. If you have an autoimmune condition, your risks of Sjogren's syndrome go up. Like other immune system conditions, Sjogren's syndrome is significantly more common in women than in men.

Diagnosing Sjogren's syndrome can be tricky, but you can trust Dr. Sabahi and the team of rheumatology experts at Pleasanton Arthritis and Osteoporosis Medical Center to get it right. We may need to use blood tests, eye exams, other imaging tests, and biopsies to confirm your diagnosis.

Treatments to resolve your symptoms

Treatments for Sjogren's syndrome focuses on addressing your symptoms of dry eye and dry mouth. You could benefit from medications to decrease eye inflammation, increase your saliva production levels, and address potential complications. 

Some patients with autoimmune conditions benefit from immunosuppressant medications. Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) medication can also be helpful in resolving systemwide symptoms of Sjogren's syndrome.

The team at Pleasanton Arthritis and Osteoporosis Medical Center can recommend dental and vision experts, to help with oral health and vision problems that may arise as a result of your Sjogren's syndrome. Minor surgical procedures can also help to support your eyes, including the insertion of plugs made of collagen or silicone into your tear ducts.

For Sjogren's syndrome diagnosis and treatment planning, you can count on, get in touch with Pleasanton Arthritis and Osteoporosis Medical Center of Pleasanton and Turlock, California today. You can schedule an appointment over the phone, or use the online tool to book now.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Relief for Your Rheumatoid Arthritis

Relief for Your Rheumatoid Arthritis

If you’re one of many adults who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, you should know that you have options for treatment and symptom relief. Read on to learn more about the treatment for your rheumatoid arthritis.

Who Can Benefit From Infusion Therapy

If you’re living with a chronic condition like lupus, osteoporosis, or rheumatoid arthritis, you should know about the benefits of infusion therapy as a medication delivery method. Read on to learn more about who can use infusion therapy.

Why Exercise Is So Important When You Have Arthritis

If you’ve been diagnosed with arthritis, it’s important to stay active! Read to learn the many health benefits of exercise for people living with arthritis, as well as suggestions for arthritis-friendly exercise plans and tips.

Psoriatic Arthritis: Far Beyond a Skin Problem

If you or a loved one has to deal with the symptoms of psoriatic arthritis, you know that this condition is serious, not just unsightly or inconvenient. Keep reading to learn what you need to know about how psoriatic arthritis can affect your skin and more

How To Heal Your Body With PRP

If you’re interested in tapping into your natural healing abilities to support your struggle with arthritis and other degenerative conditions, you should know about treatment with platelet-rich plasma (PRP). Read to learn more about PRP.

Recognizing Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Could you have rheumatoid arthritis? Read to learn more about how to recognize the symptoms of this chronic inflammatory disorder, and when you should seek medical care for your potential rheumatoid arthritis.